The world’s oldest domestic parrot has died aged 55, but not before squawking his last goodbye: “Cherrio”.
The African Grey parrot named Tarbu croaked his final farewell to owner 89-year-old Nina Morgan as she made her way to bed.
He was so weak the next morning that he couldn’t manage his usual greeting of “Hello, my darling” – and dropped dead from his perch.
Mrs Morgan believes his longevity was down to a life of “being spoilt” – from munching his favourite Kit Kats to watching Emmerdale and Coronation Street every night.
He has lived an eventful life since being rescued from the clutches of a cruel animal trader in Tanzania in 1957 – and was once taken into police custody after going missing.
The charismatic parrot was known for being vocal and would shout “Cheerio, bye, see you soon” to Mrs Morgan every time she left the house.
He squawked “woof, woof” at dogs and would divebomb on any that entered his home – as well as calling “miaow, miaow” at cats that passed his window.
Tarbu even alerted partially-deaf Mrs Morgan to the doorbell by shouting “cooeee” and her name “Nina”, as she could not hear it ring.
Widow Mrs Morgan, who lives alone, said she was “devastated” by the death of her beloved pet, who was her constant companion for 55 years.
She said: “He was a very intelligent bird and very clever. We never taught him to talk, he picked everything up.
“The night before he died I went up to bed and he said ‘cheerio’ to me from his cage. It was the last thing that he said. He sounded very weak and I did think ‘oh dear, he is not well’ and had this feeling about it. The next morning he was on the top perch of his cage with both of his wings hanging down. I talked to him as usual and he gave me one or two little squeaks. I went to make a cup of tea and when I came back he was dead at the bottom of the cage. I cried for two days and I just miss him so much.”